Publish or Perish

All this talk about the future of the publishing industry brings forth some very important questions. How will the publishing companies make money? Are printed books really a thing of the past? What will become of the publishers and editors who make up the industry? Though answers to these questions can’t be known, it’s certain that e-readers such as the Kindle and the Nook have truly changed the way people both read and publish books. Yes, I said publish. E-readers have made the publishing process so much easier for authors wanting to get their work out to the public. Writers no longer have to wait for agents and editors to look their way and see talent within their work. Instead, they are taking matters into their own hands and going through the process of publishing their own work.

The easiest way that I found to publish one’s own work is specifically for e-readers. After looking around on the Amazon homepage (the Kindle designer), I found the link on the bottom that read “Self Publish with Us”. The site also promises that “Kindle Direct Publisher gives you everything you need to become your own publisher” and also claims that it is “fast and easy”. It sounds like such a simple process, but I can’t help but worry about all the junk that is getting released into the literary world. If any old Joe Schmo can write something and publish it, I feel like publishing definitely loses its prestige. Along with this worry, however, comes a feeling of rightness. With so much to read in the world, someone is going to have to sort it all out. Who better to perform that task than book reviewers?

I have not really thought much about the process of book reviewing. I’m sure I’ve read a book review before in my life, but before I began taking a class solely devoted to the critique of books, I didn’t really understand the importance of book reviewers. Fortunately, it’s becoming clearer as to why the world needs book reviews. With the growth of self publishing not only for e-readers but through other outlets as well, there is simply going to be too much to read in the world. (As an avid reader, that’s something I never thought I’d say! But its true.) Most of it will probably not be worth anyone’s time. It’s the reviewers in the world who are going to have to step up and help the general public to sort it all out. We’ve talked about how book reviewing never really had its “Golden Age”. Well, maybe it is still to come. With so many books in the world, the role of the reviewer is going to have to become even more important. I hope they are up for the challenge.

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